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Maryland reports fewer than 250 new COVID-19 cases for the fourth time in a week

About 55.6% of Maryland’s population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and 45.9% are fully vaccinated.

With inoculations accelerating, the state’s infection rate has plunged to 5.4 cases per 100,000 people. At one time, it was greater than 50.

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Here’s where the Maryland Department of Health’s coronavirus measures stood Monday:

Cases

There were 228 new COVID-19 cases reported Monday, marking the fourth time in a week that the state reported fewer than 250.

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On May 1, the two-week average of new daily cases was 963. Now, that’s below 400. At the pandemic’s peak in January, that average was nearly 3,000.

In total, Maryland has reported 458,520 coronavirus cases.

Deaths

Fifteen more people reportedly died due to COVID-19, bringing the state’s toll of fatalities to 8,831.

The state’s 14-day average death rate, which has largely declined since early May, plateaued last week around 10 daily deaths, and has increased slightly since then.

Hospitalizations

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 decreased by six Monday to 448, continuing a sharp decline in patients dating back to late April.

Positivity rate

Maryland’s testing positivity rate, which measures the share of COVID-19 tests that came back positive over the past week, ticked up to 2.04% Monday from Sunday’s record low of 2.03%.

The state reported results for 13,337 new COVID-19 tests, a higher figure than the last three Mondays. Sunday tends to be a slow day for testing.

Maryland spent much of the winter and spring above 5%, a reopening threshold set by the World Health Organization, and at one time soared close to 10%. Remaining below the 5% threshold for two weeks is considered a good sign that the locality can reopen safely.

Vaccinations

State health officials said Monday that 20,397 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered, including 8,868 first doses and 10,739 second doses of the two-shot Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. That tally also includes 790 of Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine.

Vaccination by age

So far, 68.2% of the state’s adult population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

That includes 84.1% of Marylanders 65 and older, and 71.5% of those between 50- and 64-years-old. Meanwhile, 56.2% of those between 18 and 49-years-old have received at least one dose as have 32% of those between 12 and 17 — the youngest group eligible for vaccination.

Vaccination by race

Black Marylanders remain underrepresented in the vaccination tallies, albeit less so than earlier in the vaccination effort, having received 24.4% of the 5.3 million shots with race data attached. According to U.S. Census data, 31.1% of the state population is Black.

By comparison, white Marylanders are overrepresented, having received 59.9% of shots, while making up 58.5% of the population. Asian Marylanders, who make up 6.7% of the state population, have received 8.1% of shots.

Among the shots with ethnicity data attached, 7.8% have gone to Hispanic and Latino Marylanders, who represent 10.6% of the state population according to the Census.

Vaccination by county

Three Maryland counties have now fully vaccinated more than half of their populations — Howard (53.7%), Talbot (51.2%) and Montgomery (50.5%).

All three counties are majority-white, but vary widely in population size. Talbot has 37,000 residents compared to Montgomery’s 1 million. Howard is somewhere in the middle with 326,000. All three have poverty levels below the state average of 9%, although Talbot is closer to that mark (8.7%) than Howard (5%) and Montgomery (7.3%).

Somerset County, which has fully vaccinated the smallest percentage of its residents, at 29.1%, is a small, 40% Black jurisdiction where 23.6% live in poverty.

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